Curtis: What influenced me growing up?


My name’s Curtis Roscoe, I’m 19, and I’m from a small town in North Wales called Flint. I’m currently studying a music industry management degree in Hertfordshire, a good 4 hours away from my small little nook in the north. I’m one of three boys, with my brothers being 14 and 16 years older than me, both still living in the North Wales area.

I’m gay and so is my brother, yet we both have lead completely different lives, as everyone does. It can be hard to think back and realise what influenced you to become the person you are today, however I think once you do grasp what influenced you, it’s incredible to see. So let’s start from the beginning.

Image source
Image source

As a 3 year old boy, I moved to Mojácar, Spain with my parents and was surrounded by different cultures, people, and languages—something I think now has affected me greatly. Not that I can remember much of my time in Spain, however the lessons I learned from the many great people over there have stuck with me all this time.

As a white boy brought up in a overly white community in Wales, I never ever faced the racism/abuse other races do, so being in class with a Pacific Islander, a black French girl, and a Middle Eastern boy, I was made aware from a young age that these incredible people face a harder life due to the colour of their skin not being the same as mine.

During my time in Spain, I was also introduced to dance music, something that later in life would greatly impact me. From Shakira to Britney Spears to Janet Jackson, all my classmates had a diverse music taste, and we would all congregate at Siesta’s to show off our favourite music. Now, I know that all this contrasting music enabled me to enjoy so many different genres and shaped my music taste to this very day.

After living in Spain for 3 years, we moved back to Wales, and I then started to lose a lot of the great things my time in Spain taught me. I stopped learning Spanish (I do not speak Spanish at all anymore sadly), I started to become less active with wanting to learn new things, and I became a lot sadder due to feeling like the odd one out all the time. I was always the boy that played with the girls, did handstands instead of playing football, and liked gymnastics more than teasing other kids. All stereotypically ‘gay’ tropes. When I lived Spain, everyone’s differences were celebrated and praised, something now I know influenced me to be a lot more confident with myself at a older age.

Social media has both a lot of positives and negatives, however for me, social media enabled me from a young age to see events that are happening around the world that aren’t being discussed by western media. From 15/16, I’d read about so many experiences of racism and seen videos, marches, and movements created to help stop this horrific act. With the refugee crisis that is happening right now, social media is able to help you see what the refugees are actually going through—something the British media doesn’t really report on.

Social media also enabled me to find people like me, because at 16 in the closest and probably one of the only gay people in my town, I did feel very very isolated. However social media opened my eyes to see that there is a huge community out there.

I’m now in University, studying a degree in something i’m so passionate about, surrounded by the most supportive people and the most confident i’ve ever been in my life. I’m carefree. I’m living.

I’m ready to see what life throws at me next! It’s quite the ride.

I’d love to hear, what influenced you growing up!

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